2015 - 2016

Gender, Migration and the Provision of Social Care

The workshop will address the intersections between gender, migration and social care, locating Australian experience in an international context, with particular reference to Canada. It will create policy-focused dialogue between researchers, practitioners and policy makers. Care work is a highly gendered activity, with the vast majority of care workers being women, many of them migrants even though Australia (in contrast to Canada) does not directly recruit unskilled care workers. The workshop will result in clearer conceptualisation of the connections between gender, migration and care. It will identify key implications for policy makers, care recipients and the care workforce. Selected papers will be published in a special issue of Global Social Policy.

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The Non-Indigenous responsibility to engage: Scoping reconciliation and its alternatives

This workshop asks whether and how Aboriginal reconciliation in Australia might connect to the attitudes of non-Indigenous people in ways that prompt a deeper engagement with Indigenous needs and aspirations. It will ask invited participants to explore concepts and practices of reconciliation, considering its specific application in the context of Australia and of other nations that have undergone reconciliation processes. The discussions will bring together and complement current research approaches to the problems of responsibility and engagement between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. Contributions made at this workshop will be collated into an edited collection published for professional and scholarly readers.

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Taking stock: The reconfiguration of public housing governance in Australia

Now home to society’s most disadvantaged populations, public housing has long been viewed as a policy problem, yet it is about to undergo a new and radical set of reforms that reconfigure the way public housing is governed – from the state to the private and community sectors. As this reform process begins, it is necessary to ‘take stock’ of existing knowledge of public housing in Australia in order to help understand the likely consequences of these imminent changes. The workshop will provide a forum for researchers to generate new and important questions about the proposed reforms and develop an agenda for future research on them in collaboration with policymakers and practitioners.

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Industrial Relations Reform: Looking to the Future

Industrial relations reform is a topical subject, which has important political, economic and social implications for Australia. This workshop will critically examine the recent history of industrial relations reform, based on research evidence, and will discuss the major policy issues, which are facing governments, employers, trade unions and employees now and in the future. It is intended that the research findings discussed at the workshop will influence the debate on industrial relations reform. The findings of both the Productivity Commission review as well as the Royal Commission into trade unions should have been released during the coming year and the issue of industrial relations reform will be of considerable public interest.

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Understanding Australian policies on public health

The aim of the proposed workshop is to consider how the application of social and political science theories to the analysis of disease prevention and health promotion policies in Australia could improve the potential for these policies to enhance health and equity. The focus will be on how issues do or do not arrive on the policy agenda, how the success or otherwise of policy implementation can be assessed and on examining the role of policy networks in policy formulation and implementation.

The workshop will involve leading policy analysts from Australia and internationally and policy actors. It will also build on the work of research groups at the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity, Flinders University which are studying a variety of aspects of disease prevention and health promotion policy. This includes an evaluation of the implementation of the South Australian Health in All Policies funded by NH&MRC and ARC funded research on the extent to which prevention and promotion feature in Australian health policy.

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Justice, fairness and equity in natural resource management

This workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners whose work centres on justice in the allocation and management of natural resources. Justice research within natural resource management (NRM) is rare, but growing in Australia, and researchers typically focus on specific sectors, groups or places using different disciplinary approaches. While justice concerns over resources such as water or gas are growing in importance, justice research is scattered within the social sciences needing consolidation, synthesis and a coordinated future research agenda. This workshop will be a first step in this, allowing shared learning across disciplines and forging collaborative networks.

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Thinking Labour Rights through the ‘Coolie Question’

This workshop will explore the contemporary relevance of a tradition of histories of labour rights by
framing them in the context of recent debates about the place of economics in history and the history of
capatalism more broadly. Our aim is to broaden the field of labour rights history by focusing on the global
response to the problems of contract and indentured labour and what became known as the ‘coolie
question’ in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In the past the ‘coolie question’ has been
conceptualised in two main ways – as an offshoot of histories of slavery and anti-slavery and in the
context of histories of migration to colonies of the former British and Spanish empires. This symposium
aims to bring interdiciplinary approaches to the ‘coolie question’ into conversation with the new debates
regarding capatalism. Its participants will reflect on the implications of the ‘coolie question’ for new
transnational and global accounts of the history of labour rights in the globalising present.

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Gender Equality in Australia’s Tax and Transfer System

This Workshop brings together researchers from economics, law, social policy and political science with the aim of investigating gender equality in the Australian tax and transfer (social security) system. The Workshop will examine four themes of significance: (1) size and structure of the fiscal state; (2) work, care and capabilities of women over the lifecourse; (3) saving, assets and retirement provision; and (4) gender-based analysis and evaluation of fiscal reform. Outcomes will include recommendations to achieve gender equality for policy makers engaged in tax and social security reform; an open access academic publication and policy notes that contribute to public debate.

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Learning from discretion: how Australian governments can respond to uncertainty yet remain accountable

Principal-agent thinking has been the foundation for many of the public service designs that have been introduced over the past two or three decades. This includes contracting structures and budgetary and performance protocols. Is this approach compatible with continuous improvement and contextualised or decentralised action? If the answer is negative, how is central accountability to be preserved and re-cast? This workshop will explore these matters in the context of an alternative ‘learning-by-doing’ architecture. It will explore the conjecture that this latter approach best responds to contemporary imperatives. Alone among the alternatives, it promises to square the circle between contextualised programmes, continuous improvement and central accountability.

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The regional impacts of Australian asylum seeker policies

Through bringing together key researchers and regional refugee support agencies, this workshop will explore current research on the impacts of Australian policies on aylum seekers and refugees, governments and civil society in Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka since the commencement of Operation Sovereign Borders. It will also identify where further research is needed. Outcomes will include a paper that outlines what is currently known about the regional impacts of these policies which will be widely distributed. The papers presented at the workshop will also be published in a special edition of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies (Issue 2, 2016). This workshop will make an important contribution to further understandings of the regional impacts of Australian asylum seeker policies. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/dateline/story/turned-back-torture

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Industrial policies in the era of globalisation and financialisation

Over the past thirty years, globalisation and more recently financialisation have shaped the changing landscape for economies around the world. Countries have experienced rapid structural change in the sectoral composition of their national economies. The recent financial crisis, and its transformation into a crisis of the real economy, has led to a questioning of growth models and a renewed debate on the role of national industrial policy. This workshop investigates the financialisation-globalisation-induced changes to the industrial structure and the implications for national industrial policies which will inform policy debates and set directions for future research.

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Examining Income Management (IM) programs in Australia

The aim of the workshop is to critically analyse the development and administration of Income Management (IM) situated within the context of the interplay between evidence, ideology and policy implementation in Australia, but within a comparative context. The workshop will explore how income management fits within the competing philosophies that underpin different components of a neo-liberal welfare regime, which has been coupled with paternalism in the implementation of income management.

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Data Sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples: Current Practice and Future Needs

The workshop will consider implications of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) for the collection, ownership and application of statistics pertaining to Indigenous peoples. It aims to stimulate new thinking and practice in the generation of demographic and wellbeing information in ways that better respond to the governance and development […]

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Making Australian history: National and transnational perspectives

International and transnational historical approaches have become increasingly prominent in recent years and have generated significant scholarship in Australia and beyond. Meanwhile, this growing academic interest in global methodologies sits uneasily alongside public historical discourse, where the ‘Australian story’ remains central to discussions in the media, politics, education and among the public itself (as consumers of these national narratives). In response, this workshop considers the impact of the turn towards transnationalism on Australian history. It examines (1) how the transnantional lens has complicated and challenged conventional understandings of the national narrative, and (2) the limits of such international perspectives in national historiographical debate.

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The conscription conflict and the First World War

This workshop will re-examine the conflict over conscription in Australia during World War I and the two plebiscites in which it was rejected. It will seek to re-establish the centrality of this conflict to our understanding of the war years and their legacy, place the conflict in international context, consider its lessons, and honour the memory of those involved.

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Catastrophic futures: Societies beyond oil

By bringing together prominent scholars from different disciplinary backgrounds, this workshop explores how high-carbon patterns of mobile life might become restructured in a world of scarce energy distribution. This workshop features the research of various scholars of ‘global mobilities’ – including the pioneering expertise of Professor John Urry (University of Lancaster, UK), whose work will be open for discussion.

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Contact Information

Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

    ABN: 59 957 839 703
  • Location: 26 Balmain Crescent, Acton, ACT 2601
  • Postal: GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601
  • +61 .2 62491788
  • +61 .2 62474335
  • secretariat@assa.edu.au

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